chapter  2
Contemporary Anime in Japanese Pop Culture
ByGilles Poitras
Pages 20

This chapter explores how society frames individuals' memories in a Japanese context and examine how Japanese remember World War II, an epochal event in modern Japanese history that divides what came before and after it. Early manga about World War II display two key characteristics. First, their stories ignore the home front while concentrating on the battlefield. Second, they are predominantly adventure stories about the air war, featuring brave pilots heroically flying to victory. The plots of early World War II manga are invariably consistent. They always emphasize that Japanese soldiers at the front are heroes, bravely fighting against an implacable foe. Yonezawa maintains that the first manga about World War II was Taro Himoto's Senjo shiirizu, published as late as autumn 1957. Manga stories about World War II clearly reflect the different times in which they were produced, faithfully conforming to contemporary dictates of the collective moods and perceptions of the war.